Breach of Fiduciary Duty in California

Learn about Your Executor Responsibilities

When you take on the job of executor in a probate administration, the administration of an estate, a guardianship or as the trustee of a trust, you are stepping into the role of a fiduciary. The word comes from the Latin fides, "trust," and it describes a person who has been appointed and authorized to manage another person's assets and to act on his or her behalf. This means you have the highest duty of care with regard to the estate or your ward. You have a number of legal responsibilities which must be upheld in your role as a fiduciary, and failure to fulfill them is a breach of fiduciary duty. This can get you in trouble with the probate court and it may even lead to criminal charges. An Orange County estate planning lawyer can guide you throughout the process to ensure that your management is above reproach.

Fiduciary Duties

  • Avoid Conflict of Interest
    Avoid investing estate funds in businesses in which you have a personal interest. Do not hire yourself or family member to perform tasks at exorbitant fees. Avoid profiting from your position in any way.
  • Be Loyal
    Do not put a ward in a substandard or expensive nursing home just because it is owned by a friend. Look at the decision from your ward's perspective and find an optimum solution.
  • Do Not Commingle Funds
    Set up a separate bank account for the estate and put the estate's name on it. Do not dip into the funds for a personal loan to yourself or a friend. Keep meticulous records of every transaction so that you can be fully accountable in the event of an audit or request for records.
  • Do Not Neglect Your Duties
    If you are caring for a ward, be faithful to your duties and be there when needed. If you are administering an estate, perform needed actions in a timely manner and show up at any and all court proceedings.

Take Action Over Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Our firm also represents individuals and families against fiduciaries who have violated their duties or failed to uphold their responsibilities. Whether you are a beneficiary or trustee, or if you are concerned about the administration of the guardianship of a loved one, you can come to us to explore your legal options for correcting the situation and holding the fiduciary accountable for the breach of trust. As mentioned above, breach of fiduciary duty is not merely a personal dispute: it is a matter with serious legal implications, and you have rights in the situation.

Retain a Lawyer with 40+ Years of Experience!

Our attorney has counseled clients against breach of fiduciary duty for more than 40 years. P. Arnsen Blakely is an estate planning firm that has been serving Orange County, California since 1971. When we undertake representation of a client in probate administration, estate administration or guardianship, we make sure they have a full understanding of their fiduciary duties. We are also available to answer questions as they go about their duties. In short, we can stand by you throughout the entire process, advising you of how to proceed and helping you to avoid unnecessary complications.

Contact our estate planning attorney in Orange County for a free consultation to discuss the situation and learn more about how we can help.

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Orange County Estate Planning Attorney
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Corona del Mar, CA 92625
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